It used to be when something was damaged; we would take it to a repair shop. Companies have pushed hard to make this a thing of the past. Today, phones, like computers, tend to get replaced as soon as they start showing signs of damage or begin to slow down.
It’s little wonder these companies push for replacement instead of repair. It is a net positive for a phone company’s bottom line if they convince you that you need a new phone every year. But there are many reasons you should think twice before replacing your phone and, instead, consider getting it repaired. Here are a few of those reasons:
This is the most obvious reason. It is usually cheaper to fix something than replace it. If your car’s alternator breaks, you don’t replace it; you get it fixed. A phone should be no different. It can be surprisingly cheap to fix a cracked screen, replace a memory card, or just clean out old applications for it to run faster.
Phone companies will try and talk you into the need for their fastest model that will change your smartphone experience. But, before you buy into the hype, ask yourself if the phone wasn’t a great one when they last talked you into upgrading.
Save The Environment
Phones aren’t exactly biodegradable and every day, thousands of phones are thrown away by Australians. Not only do they pack landfills with potentially toxic substances, but making those replacement phones adds to general pollution as well.
As consumers are more concerned with going green, it is easy to forget how much CO2 and other toxic chemicals are released to create new phones. It’s simply environmentally ethical to repair and keep using a phone until it ends its useful life.
Getting The Maximum Value
Again, this comes back to unnecessary waste. When you purchased your phone, did it not have all the features and speed it needed? While newer phones may be faster, you must ask yourself if you actually need that added speed or storage.
If your phone is doing everything you need it to do, there is no reason to replace it. If it sustains damage that is cheap to fix, a simple repair makes sense as you can get far more from your investment.
One thing you won’t hear mentioned from mobile phone manufacturers is the necessity of coltan. This rare metallic ore is a vital component in mobile phones, and it is primarily sourced in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC).
Unfortunately, the DRC is a conflict zone, and the proceeds of coltan mining have been used to fuel armed conflicts in the region. So, purchasing a new phone, as opposed to fixing your current one, may actually contribute to ongoing wars within the DRC.
Avoiding Disposable Culture And Going Green
In our modern disposable culture, we throw out far more than is necessary. Mobile phone manufacturers have, for financial reasons, only encouraged this culture that seeks to dispose and replace electronics in as compressed a cycle as possible.
This has led to unnecessary landfill expansion, the release of harmful gases, and, in the case of coltan, exacerbated real-world conflicts. Moreover, this culture has convinced consumers to part completely unnecessarily with their hard-earned money.
Sometimes it is time to replace your electronics. If your phone has weathered half a decade of use, it may very well be slowing, or its operating system may be reaching end-of-life with no upgrade paths possible.
If so, it is certainly reasonable to buy a replacement – just remember to make sure you dispose of it properly.
On the other hand, if you have a fairly new device and it seems to run fine and has just sustained some damage, contact your local repair service and get an estimate. It may be far more cost-effective to simply fix your phone. Not to mention, it is better for the environment.